If your students need to do research, whether for a formal paper, a speech, or a group project, they may benefit from a library instruction session. Sessions are taught by faculty librarians, and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your students and the assignment(s) they are working on. Research shows that best time to provide library instruction is shortly after the research assignment has been provided and explained to the students, and after they have had some time to think of some topics.
If you wish your class to have hands-on access to online databases, you will need to schedule time in a computer lab prior to scheduling the library session. Alternatively, we can come to your lecture classroom and do a presentation for students so that they will learn about the many resources available to them. Library instruction sessions can be held in any classroom equipped with a computer and a projector. There is no computer lab in the LRC. Librarians recommend that faculty reserve their session date and time as soon as they have finalized their course calendar for the semester.
Faculty who wish to schedule a library instruction session should fill out the Library Instruction Request Form.
When the class meets in a computer lab, sessions are delivered as workshops with most of the class time devoted to hands on practice and students should ideally come away from the session with some concrete results that they can really use. If the students have two or three topics that they are considering, the workshop can be a great opportunity for them to experiment, with expert librarian and teaching faculty guidance, and settle on their final topic, with confidence that it will work for them and they will be able to find enough good quality material to succeed. Many students should be able to leave the session with much of their searching, collecting, saving, and citing already completed.
LRC 103 is a computer lab in the LRC with 24 computer stations. Library instruction sessions can be scheduled in LRC 103 on a very limited basis. If you would like to check the availability of LRC 103 for your library instruction session, please contact the library staff.
Library instruction sessions can cover any of the following:
Some faculty prefer to offer their students library instruction spread over two sessions.
First Session: The first session can be provided before the assignment or topics have been chosen. It is an introduction to the library and the librarians, how to search for topic ideas and get background information from reference sources such as CREDO Reference, Britannica Online, and the Internet.
Second Session: The second session dives into search strategies in the databases, finding specific, technical, and expert sources, saving, printing, emailing, setting up bibliographies and citations.
Each session takes about one hour. If the class is able to meet in a computer lab, much of the time will provide a hands-on workshop with guidance from the librarian and the class instructor. The librarian can help with strategies and search difficulties, the teaching faculty can help with topic ideas, scope and relevance to the assignment, ways to approach or develop the topic into a good paper or presentation.